One way to look at selling is the process of continuously finding and eliminating objections until your prospect has no better option than to respond…
I’m actually not a huge fan of looking at selling this way. Because there’s something about the posturing and positioning of it that makes it feel like you’re not on the same team as your prospect.
It definitely reflects the old-school mindset. Where every potential customer has your money in their pocket, and your primary job is to get them to give that money to you.
Again, this isn’t really my style. I’d rather create the best possible solution for a group of highly-qualified prospects… Then present it to them in the best possible way… Make it clear who it is for, and who it is not for… And then make sure that I make it as appealing as possible to take action now, for the people who are a fit and who like what I’m offering.
Old-school carries a win-lose mentality. I like living life win-win.
BUT — and here’s the setup for today’s topic — there’s a TON you can learn from old-school selling, that will only make your new-school approach all the more powerful.
If you’re able to create the perfect solution AND systematically eliminate all benefits? Look out!
So with that said, I want to share a list of 10 nearly-universal sales objections. Plus, a brief reflection on how to respond to each. And, then one more objection at the end, with a unique take on it…
We’ll dive into the objections in a moment — first a very quick request…
I’ve just published a two-question survey. Literally two questions. Doesn’t even ask for your name or email address.
The idea behind it?
Imagine you run into one of the world’s best copywriters in the hallway at a conference. You’re given the chance to ask one great question about how to write effective sales copy.
What would you ask?
You might just have a chance to get that question answered, by whoever the copywriter is that you’re imagining!
On to the objections, and how to tackle them…
- “How do I know this is really for me?”
When this objection comes up, the prospect is really thinking about themselves. Specifically, you may have laid out how great your offer is in more general terms, but they don’t think of themselves in general terms. They think of themselves as being a unique person, in a unique situation. And they want to know if what you’re offering will fit there.
Address this with “find yourself here” messaging. That is, give case studies of prospects like them (you can develop these based on all your most common customer avatars). Show specifically how your offer was a fit for them.
Plus, use risk-reversal. Let them prove to themselves how it’s a fit. Offer generous guarantee terms so they can test-drive the offer without risk or obligation. There’s no better way to prove fit than to actually try it.
- “What unique benefits do you bring to the table?”
Here your prospect is comparing your solution to everybody else in the market. What’s unique about you? Why should they choose you over every other option available to them, including going with a competitor, solving the problem themselves in another way, or doing nothing at all? What makes you different and quantitatively or qualitatively superior to their other options? What are the buying criteria that uniquely favor choosing you?
- “Why should I believe your claims and promises?”
Prove it! What do you have to back up all your claims and promises? What credible third-party authorities support your claims? How do I know you will fulfill on your promises? What makes you uniquely able to get the results you promise? When have you done it before, and for whom?
A good start is testimonials and risk reversal, but there’s so much more here…
- “Yeah, but will it work for ME?”
Even if you’ve done a great job of proving that whatever you’re offering will work for someone else, your prospect still believes it won’t work for them. What have you done to make it incredibly simple and automatic to get the results you’ve promised? What have you done to make sure it will work for everybody that’s qualified?
Notably, if you disqualify people who are not a fit, it can be tremendously helpful in addressing this for those who are left. Again, guarantees are beneficial here. But what else can you do to help your prospect convince themselves that they’ll get what you promise out of your offer?
- “How is this any different than everything else I’ve tried?”
Most prospects in a market aren’t coming into the market for the first time when they do business with you. If you sell a wealth product, they’ve spent most of their life trying to build more wealth, faster. If you sell a health product, they’ve tried fifteen things to address their health condition already. If it’s relationship-related, they’ve been trying things to improve their relationships from childhood.
You have to convince them that what you offer is different, and somehow superior in its ability to get them their desired result. That you’ve uncovered new secrets or created new mechanisms that lead to success that’s been elusive before.
- “What makes you think I’ll actually get results this time?”
This is coming at the previous objection from a new angle, in a new light. Make those new secrets or that new mechanism personal. What about your offer is either more universal than the previous mis-fit solutions they tried? Or, how is it specific to them and their needs, in a market full of general solutions?
- “Why haven’t I heard of this already?”
We’re jaded as heck. We believe that if something is out there, we should already know about it. Even more so today, where the answer to every question is a Google search away.
If what you’re offering is new or positioned as new, you must address what makes it so bleeding edge that your prospect rightfully hasn’t heard about it. What unique set of circumstances led to this brand new innovation? And important, if it’s such a big deal, why are they finding out from you, and not from some other source (like their preferred news media)?
- “How come my [expert] never told me this?”
Another take on the above. Especially in markets like health and wealth where many of us have trusted professional advisors who are supposed to stay on top of the latest news and opportunities.
Why didn’t your doctor tell you about the new health breakthrough? Why didn’t your financial advisor share this new investment opportunity?
This is a minefield, I will warn you. Addressing this objection directly requires you to let their trusted expert off the hook while also presenting a bit of new information. You can bash faceless organizations, but not their trusted expert. (Applied to politics, this is why everybody hates Congress but is happy to re-elect their representatives.)
“The reason your doctor hasn’t heard about this? Because it’s been stifled and kept out of professional journals by Big Pharma, who stand to lose billions as folks realize just how powerful this is…”
“Our unique and proprietary stock selection algorithm has over 10 years of dedicated research put into it, and we’ve been tight-fisted about keeping it for our readers, even as Wall Street firms and major brokerages and financial advisory companies have tried to get us to share…”
- “Is this really that good of a deal?”
Done right, you’ve probably cost-justified that your prospect is getting $10 in value for every $1 they invest today, if not a lot more. You’ve done everything you can to tilt the scales in their favor.
But this raises doubt. Will you fulfill on that? Or is it another empty promise?
Here a good “reason why” will do the trick. Why have you extended such a good deal? What are the conditions that have made this something that’s not only in the customer’s best interests, but yours as well?
- “What if I’m not ready to act today?”
It’s natural for a prospect to have hesitancy to pull the trigger, even after they’ve decided they want your product or service. What can you add in terms of urgency to get them to act now, because it’s in their best interests?
Time and quantity limits are the best sources of urgency. But there can also be urgency in the prospect’s life (an upcoming life event) or market (an investment opportunity slipping away) that can be used to inject urgency in other ways.
+1. “I don’t have the money.”
Finally, the “I don’t have the money” objection. I put this as a +1 because it’s usually an easy excuse for all the other objections not being met. With the exception of things that are extremely outside of their budget, most people will find the money they need to buy what they want to buy. And usually, someone for whom an offer is really outside their budget won’t even be shopping that offer in the first place.
Which means if you’re getting this objection, it’s because they don’t believe the product is for them, don’t believe they’ll get the benefit or solution promised, don’t believe it will be worth it, or don’t have a compelling reason to act now. This is simply a kind and generally-accepted “out” they’ll use to avoid telling you the truth.
How to use this…
I’ve literally reworded these objections, and put them deep in a sales letter, after the product is presented. Sometimes before the offer, sometimes after (they work great rewritten into a FAQ).
You could also use them to guide topics throughout sales copy. Either in a single message, or over the course of a multi-step follow-up system.
Plus, if you have a sales team or anyone that speaks with customers directly, they should absolutely have an idea for each offer how to address these main objections. Not all of them will come up in every call. But it’s best to over-equip them. And they can explicitly bring up relevant objections, to increase their credibility with prospects.
If you wanted to finish reading before taking the short, two-question survey about what you’d ask a top copywriter… You’ve just finished…
Yours for bigger breakthroughs,